The release of American basketball star Brittney Griner from a Russian penal colony after over nine months of wrongful detention Thursday came as an immeasurable relief for her family and country. It also brought renewed concern about the apparently more difficult case of Paul Whelan, a former Marine held hostage in Russia for nearly four years and ultimately excluded from the prisoner swap that freed Griner. The Biden administration’s success in releasing Griner also provides occasion to hope for and urge progress on liberating another former Marine held overseas for years — several more years than Whelan, unfortunately.
Austin Tice was a 31-year-old veteran turned journalist covering the devastating Syrian civil war for McClatchy and others when he was abducted near Damascus in 2012. Last summer, his family and friends marked 10 years since his disappearance, which, of scores of Americans wrongly detained abroad, would make him the longest-suffering.
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